Learn More About Whole Grains for Better Health!
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Learn More About Whole Grains for Better Health!

Posted on Wednesday, January 16th, 2013 at 8:00 am
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There are tons of foods on the market today that boast the fact that they “contain whole grains” or are “a good source of whole grains.” You might just be wondering what whole grains are. How many whole grains should you eat in a day? How are they good for you? Luckily, we’re here to break whole grains down for you, so you know what you’re buying next time you’re at the grocery store.

The Whole Grain Council defines a whole grain as a grain that contains all three parts that make up a grain. These parts are known as the bran, the germ, and the endosperm. Whole grains include grains like wheat, corn, oats, quinoa, rice, barley, spelt, rye, sorghum and even popcorn! With so many options, it’s easy to add some whole grains into your diet.

Now, you may be asking, “why do I need to add more whole grains to my diet?” The simple truth is that they are packed with tons of nutrients. While fruits and vegetables contain valuable phytochemicals and antioxidants, whole grains can often include more of these disease-fighting ingredients. They are also loaded with antioxidants you can’t find in fruits and veggies as well as vitamins B & E, magnesium,  iron and fiber.  Several medical studies show that whole grains help reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and obesity.

It is recommended that you eat 3 servings of whole grains each day. A single serving can include a ½ cup of cooked brown rice, 1 slice 100% whole grain bread, or 1 cup of 100% whole grain cereal. Of course, there are many other ways you can get your whole grains. A single serving of whole grains is about 16 grams. If you need extra help, look for the Whole Grain Council’s stamp of approval. Any product stamped with the Whole Grain Council’s stamp contains at least half a serving of whole grains. Their 100% stamp helps you identify foods that contain a full serving of whole grains. Just eat 3 products with their 100% stamp or 6 servings with their regular stamp and you’re good to go!

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.